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Double Up Food Bucks
From Our Farms, For Our Families
Access to healthy, fresh, sustainably grown food is an essential building block of a productive life. Yet many low-income families have fewer opportunities to access healthy food even when they have access to federal food assistance benefits. This is not only a health and nutrition issue — it is an equity issue.
Our Double Up Food Bucks project provides families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with the means to purchase more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables while supporting local food growers and the local food economy.
- There are 1.9 million SNAP recipients in Michigan — that’s 19% of the state’s population (the national average is 15.4%).
- The number of Michigan farmers markets is growing rapidly and SNAP sales are on the rise at these markets.
- Improve availability and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities via farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and targeted small grocery stores.
- Grow the local economy by supporting purchases from local farmers, urban gardeners, locally owned small groceries, and farm stands.
- Increase the diversity of marketing opportunities for agricultural producers.
- Shift future food assistance policy so that families will receive a dedicated allocation of SNAP benefits for fruits and vegetables.
More for Michigan Families and Farmers
Double Up Food Bucks draws on a pool of funds raised from foundations to “match” purchases at participating farmers markets. When recipients use their SNAP benefits debit card to shop at these markets, the amount they spend is matched up to $20 per visit with Double Up Food Bucks tokens. Families have more purchasing power to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and Michigan growers have more sales opportunities for their produce.
Double Up Food Bucks was piloted in Detroit in 2009 and launched in Southeast Michigan in August 2010. By 2012, with the support of nearly 40 foundations, it had expanded statewide to include 75 farmers’ markets.
- In 2012, SNAP recipients made 89,428 visits to 75 participating markets statewide – and 13,306 customers visited a farmers’ market for
- From 2009 - 2012, over $3 million in healthy, fresh, locally-produced foods have been purchased by customers using SNAP benefits and DUFB at participating markets.
- SNAP redemptions at Michigan markets in 2011 and 2012 were hundreds of thousands of dollars greater than in any other Midwestern state.
- In a survey of customers, 96% said they would participate in DUFB again and would like it expanded to more places.
Fair Food Network completed an evaluation of its Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) incentive program for 2012. This report, a part of a three-year evaluation, is assessing DUFB's effectiveness in leveraging federal SNAP resources to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables for shoppers on federal food assistance while strengthening and diversifying farm economies.
View the report:
Double Up Food Bucks - 2012 Evaluation Report
Fair Food Network is also collaborating with three other organizations, Wholesome Wave, Roots of Change, and Market Umbrella, on a National Cluster Evaluation of farmers’ market incentive programs.
The first-year report, released in 2012, describes a strong and growing national movement to increase access to healthy food for all.
View the report:
Healthy Food Incentives Cluster Evaluation 2011
Double Up Food Bucks continues to grow and innovate – the 2013 season will include over 85 market sites. Some of these sites will pilot an exciting new method for accepting SNAP payments using mobile technology. And DUFB will be available in certain Detroit grocery stores!
To learn more, visit our Double Up Food Bucks website: www.doubleupfoodbucks.org
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